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PETERborough

The eyes and ears of downtown

Owners of Jane’s in Stitches looking to sell their shop of 17 years once they retire

  • Jane Anders, Jane's in Stitches<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Jane Anders, Jane's in Stitches<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Jane Anders, Jane's in Stitches<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

PETERBOROUGH — After 17 years, Jane Anders will be giving up her front-window view of downtown Peterborough when she closes her Summer Street business, Jane’s in Stitches, at the end of April.

Jane and her husband, Bill Anders, who are both 69, plan to retire to their home in Rindge when their lease expires. They are hoping to find a buyer for the business, which specializes in sewing. alterations and repairs.

“It’s very hard to go,” Jane said on Friday, as she sat at a sewing machine in front of a window looking down Summer Street toward the Main Street intersection. “We’ve had so many nice people. I think I know half of Peterborough by name. I tell them I want to get out while I still can remember those names.”

She said she’ll miss keeping track of the trucks coming and going from the fire station just down the road.

“We’re like the eye of Peterborough here. We see everything going on. We have a scanner here and people call us up to find out what’s happening.”

Jane learned to sew in high school in Pennsylvania.

“I had a home ec teacher, Miss Beers,” she recalled. “She was tough, but she knew her stuff. She started me out right and I’ve never stopped sewing since.”

When the couple moved to New Hampshire, where Bill Anders worked for many years in the automotive aftermarket business, Jane started doing sewing repairs for the Fabricare dry cleaning chain, first in Keene and later at the store in Peterborough. In 1995, she went on her own, opening Jane’s in Stitches in one of the buildings that’s now part of Depot Square.

“Bruce and Jackie Calhoun gave me a lot of help,” Jane said. “They were wonderful, finding space to get me started.”

A year later, she moved to her Summer Street location, just down the road from the Centertown plaza, when the 12 Pine catering business moved out.

“Danny Thibeault was my other angel,” Jane said. “One day, he just popped his head in my shop and said ‘Do you want to take over my lease?’ I just said ‘Yes’.”

Bill joined the business a few years ago when he retired. He handles machine embroidery, while Jane focuses on alterations and repairs.

“I really need to say a special thanks to my family,” Jane said. “Bill’s been a major help. My son Mike helped build everything in here and my daughter Christina has been sewing with me for 12 years.”

She said sewing had become somewhat of a lost art in recent years.

“There is such a need and they just don’t teach it in schools anymore,” she said.

Bill said the business is somewhat recession proof.

“In good times, people may need slight alterations to new clothing. In bad times, people are coming in and making do with what they have,” he said.

The business is for sale and the Anderses have talked to a few prospective owners.

“You have to get the right people who want to spend the time and have the expertise,” Bill said. “Jane has been sewing for 53 years. That’s a lot of experience.... Our main interest is to put someone in the building who can take care of our customers.”

The couple is not planning to move away.

“We want to take some time to smell the roses,” Bill said. “We’ll still be a part of things around town.”

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